Microsoft is now making money from half of the Android phones and tablets sold in the world, having signed a total of 10 cash-generating licensing deals with manufacturers.
The software behemoth is profiting from owning patents used in Google's OS -- from common features like calendars and syncing emails to showing battery and signal level changes. As Android is appearing on more tablets and smart phones than ever, there's an increasing number of manufacturers bowing down and coughing up in order to adopt the open platform, giving Google something of a syncing feeling.
Taiwanese company Compal -- which produces smart phones and tablets for third parties and has revenue of around $28bn per year -- was named on a blog post as the tenth signing. The announcement means companies accounting for over half of Android devices have now entered patent licence agreements with Microsoft, including major players Samsung and Motorola.
"Amidst continuing clamour about uncertainty and litigation relating to smart phone patents, we're putting in place a series of agreements that are reasonable and fair to both sides," Microsoft said.
"Our agreements ensure respect and reasonable compensation for Microsoft's inventions and patent portfolio. Equally important, they enable licensees to make use of our patented innovations on a long-term and stable basis."
Bean-counters at Goldman Sachs reckon Microsoft could generate a cool $444m from manufacturers building Android devices in the 12 months to the end of June 2012, PC Pro reports, prompting Google to brand Microsoft an "extortionist".
Microsoft isn't the only one playing hot patent-o. Apple has recently taken swipes at other manufacturers, attempting to ban imports of HTC handsets and even going so far to declare thermonuclear war on Android. In this light, is demanding some monies from the competition the fairer option? Or is Google right to call Microsoft out on this? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.